Once you pop...
There is an obvious, demonstrable link between compelling game content and the player being hooked into it. The word addiction is too often thrown around like games were sold on a street corner, but there is much to be said about the compulsive nature of games.
With regular boxed games, you buy your ticket and take the ride. Yet with free-to-play games (especially the best designed ones) the compelling component of a game is interlinked with the purchase options.
If free-to-play permeates, the lines between games and casinos could blur further, with impulse-purchasing being the name of the game.
Tough new Japan laws on free-to-play purchasing, which capped the amount young people could spend on certain games each month, had punished the market value of F2P firms Gree and Dena. There can hardly be better indication of the industry's reliance on repeat purchasing than this.